Obtaining high-quality, intact RNA is the first, and often most critical, step in performing gene expression analysis. In order to isolate high-quality RNA, the tissue has to be either: a) processed immediately after harvest, b) snap-frozen, or c) stabilized in an intermediary solution to preserve RNA integrity and allow for storage. Life Technologies offers several products designed specifically to stabilize and preserve the integrity of RNA either at the point of collection or even post-collection: RNAlater® Tissue Collection: RNA Stabilization Solution; RNAlater®-ICE Frozen Tissue Transition Solution; and THE RNA Storage Solution.
Product Selection Guide
|RNAStabilization Products||RNAlater® Tissue Collection: RNA Stabilization Solution||Cells and tissues||Aqueous, nontoxic tissue storage reagent that rapidly permeates tissue to stabilize and protect cellular RNA|
|RNAlater®-ICE Frozen Tissue Transition Solution||Cells and tissues||Prevents RNA degradation during tissue thawing|
|THE RNA Storage Solution||Purified RNA||Minimizes base hydrolysis by chelating free cations from solution with sodium citrate and by maintaining a low pH|
|Tempus® Blood RNA Tubes||Blood||Evacuated blood tube designed to lyse and stabilize blood at the point of collection|
|LeukoLOCK™ Total RNA Isolation System||Blood||Globin-free RNA from RNAlater®–stabilized leukocytes. Anticoagulated blood is filter-fractionated, keeping only the leukocytes, and stabilized with RNAlater® solution for storage|
Revolutionary reagent minimizes the need to immediately freeze samples to preserve RNA
Once saturated in RNAlater® solution, tissues can be removed, dissected, or weighed at room temperature, then returned to RNAlater® solution for continued storage. Tissues treated with RNAlater® solution and archived at –80°C can be subjected to 10 freeze/thaw cycles without affecting the quality of subsequently isolated RNA (Figure 1). Samples stored in RNAlater® solution can be shipped on wet ice or even at room temperature if shipped overnight. Figure 2 shows data from a ribonuclease protection assay using RNA from tissue stored in RNAlater® solution.
|Figure 1. RNA Stability of RNAlater®-Treated Tissues After Multiple Freeze/Thaw Cycles. |
Mouse heart and liver were dissected and placed in RNAlater® solution. The tissues were frozen on dry ice and thawed at room temperature for the indicated number of cycles. RNA was isolated using RNAWIZ™, electrophoresed on a 1% formaldehyde/agarose gel, ethidium bromide stained, and photographed.
|Figure 2. Ribonuclease Protection Assay Using Mouse Tissues Stored in RNAlater® Solution. |
Tissues were stored in RNAlater® solution for 1 or 4 weeks at 4°C. RNA was isolated from each tissue and analyzed using the RPA III™ Kit.
RNA Stabilization Support Materials
- Improved Methods for Gene Expression Profiling from Blood Samples - TechNotes 13(3): We offer a number of Ambion® products for gene expression profiling from whole blood, including products for sample collection and stabilization, blood cell fractionation, RNA isolation, and globin mRNA removal.
- Make Time Stand Still with RNAlater® - TechNotes 10(1): The Ambion® RNAlater® Tissue Collection: RNA Stabilization Solution that makes it possible for researchers to postpone RNA isolation for days, weeks, or even months after tissue collection without sacrificing RNA integrity.
- Obtaining the Highest Quality RNA from Blood Samples - TechNotes 16(1): In this article we discuss these challenges and the methods available for isolating high-quality RNA from blood.
- Preserve RNA in the Tissue Before RNA Isolation - TechNotes 8(2): RNAlater® solution preserves RNA in tissues to be used for histology.
- RNA Remains Stable During Long-term Tissue Storage - TechNotes 12(4): RNAlater® solution preserves RNA in tissues to be used for histology or flash-frozen and stored at –80°C... How does the RNA compare after 2.5 years?
- RNAlater® for RNA and Protein Stabilization - TechNotes 11(3): Intact protein can be recovered from RNAlater® solution–stabilized samples for use in downstream applications such as western blotting or 2D gel analysis.
- RNAlater® Preserves Bacterial Gene Expression Profiles for Array Analysis - TechNotes 9(5): Arresting gene expression patterns during sample processing.
- RNAlater® Solution Around the World: Stabilizing Expression Profiles - TechNotes 14(2): Here we describe how three different research groups used RNAlater® solution to preserve samples for microarray and RT-PCR studies.
- Thaw Frozen Tissues Without Damaging RNA - TechNotes 10(2): RNAlater®-ICE solution is a unique RNA-stabilizing solution—simply drop frozen tissues into RNAlater®-ICE solution and walk away! The tissues thaw without risk of RNA degradation. Once thawed the tissues can be processed like fresh tissues.
- RNAlater® Solution Preserves Bacterial Gene Expression Profiles for Array Analysis: Here we show that RNAlater® solution immediately stabilizes RNA expression profiles in both gram-positive and gram-negative species. RNA was isolated from the bacteria with and without RNAlater® solution treatment, and RNA integrity was evaluated on the Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer and by membrane filter–based array analysis.
Tips from the Bench
- Your Data: Stabilize Difficult-to-work-with RNA Transcripts: RNAlater® solution provides a method for preserving RNA in tissue samples for large-scale experiments such as examining the effects of cigarette smoke on tracheal gene expression.